How to Sell On Etsy Successfully with an Analysis of the Top Selling Etsy Shops

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Etsy has been a popular marketplace for over 10 years now. So if you are thinking of opening an Etsy shop, you may be wondering how to sell on Etsy successfully.

how-to-sell-on-etsy

HOW TO SELL ON ETSY

Etsy currently stands at over 1.6 million + sellers and over 300 million  products. So how does a new shop get found?

I have been working with Etsy shops for over 4 years now, and I can tell you the main points of the formula for success.

Common Traits Among Top Selling Etsy Shops

  • The majority of top selling shops offer products in a niche. Niche shops tend to do better because all of their products have the same keyword phrases, which maximizes their SEO, both Etsy and Google. As a result, they get better search results because they sell one type of item. For example, a shop that sells only bracelets as opposed to all types of jewelry, which is much broader in scope with more competitors for keywords.
  • The majority of top sellers list over 100 items and more likely upwards of 1,000. The reason seems to be that it is a numbers game. The more items you have, the more searches you turn up in and the more search tags you can take advantage of.
  • The majority of top selling shops offer products under $20. Low priced products are a lot easier for new customers to take a risk on, and much easier to get multiple sales.
  • The top selling shops have amazing product photography. As a result, their images stand out better in Etsy search results, and their photos are more likely to be used by Etsy on their social media pages and in their Etsy Finds newsletters.

If you really want to know how to sell on Etsy successfully, be sure to check out my very affordable marketing services, ebooks and plans for Etsy shop owners here.

© 2012-2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Do Guerilla Marketing Words Still Get People to Buy?

by G.B. Oliver

One of my all-time favorite marketing books is Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson, first published back in 1993. In the book, Jay talks extensively about advertising and the power of words.

He references a list of the 12 most persuasive words in the English language (words that might get people to buy), from a research study done by psychologists at Yale University in 1970. Jay recommended using these words in headlines, signage and any other forms of your advertising.

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So, in no particular order, these words are:

  1. YOU
  2. MONEY
  3. SAVE
  4. NEW
  5. RESULTS
  6. HEALTH
  7. SAFETY
  8. EASY
  9. LOVE
  10. DISCOVER
  11. PROVEN
  12. GUARANTEE

Now this study was done over 40 years ago, so maybe things have changed. Therefore, I thought I would take a look at some current print ads in popular magazines and see how many companies are still using these words to get you to buy their products.

After looking at over 50 ads, for everything from food products to cosmetics to cars to books, here is what I found:

Still Commonly Used Adjectives

  • New
  • Results
  • Easy
  • Save
  • Proven

The word safety seems to have been replaced more with peace of mind and reliability.

New, Popular Adjectives

  • Ultimate
  • Best
  • Special
  • Excellent
  • Tasteful
  • Perfect
  • Bold
  • Dazzling
  • Powerful
  • Hot

Grand phrases like must-have, essentialbreakthrough, unprecedented, industry-leading and revolutionary are also very common in describing products.

Still Commonly Used Verbs

  • discover
  • expect
  • delivers
  • learn
  • dare
  • defy
  • helps
  • improve  
  • find

Surprisingly, I didn’t see that many companies offering a guarantee, but I did see the word promise a lot.

Other Words

One really interesting fact I did notice was that not many ads used the word “you“. Copy was written in very general terms, and, for the most part, no pronouns of any kind were used. Your was used a lot, such as your family, your home, your health, your safety, but not “you”, in the sense of “you’ll love” or “you need”.

The words money, love, health and safety were used, but only specific to certain types of products.

FINAL WORD: So are words that were effective in a study done 40 years ago still effective today? Do certain words work on men and not women, and vice versa. And what about teens? Do they care about health, safety or saving money?

Think of who you are selling to. Then find media, such as magazine covers, that target this age and gender group and see the words they are using on the covers.  Those should be the words you use in your product descriptions and advertisements. They’ve done the research, so they know which words work, and you can benefit from that.

Need Help Marketing Your Small Business?

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I offer a variety of DIY Marketing Services (I tell you what to do, you do it) that makes it very affordable for small businesses to get professional marketing advice – that works! Contact me to discuss at attentiongetting@gmail.com or use the contact form below.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

 

Marketing I Love! One Kings Lane

 by G.B. Oliver

If you are not familiar with the online store, One Kings Lane, they specialize in offering home decor and accessories products from different vendors, and showcasing certain selections of the vendors’ products for a limited time to buy. You have to be a member of One Kings Lane’s site in order to purchase.

So exclusive products at a reduced price for a limited time offer to a select clientele. It’s a great business model. Limited time offers mean people have to act quickly; exclusive products also make buyers act quickly; having products that are always marked down from retail price is a great lure; and a membership only storefront means a lot of repeat business from your customer base.

I was on their website recently and noticed some really smart marketing ideas that they’ve implemented, that a smaller online shop could take advantage of as well.

  • Invite Friends Offer: They have an offer that if you invite friends, either by emailing them a product listing or liking the product on Facebook, and the friend buys, you get a $15 gift card. And they make it really easy to do with the icons very prominent beside the offer and with one click all the product info appears in a posting on your Facebook page.
  • Smart use of Pinterest Icon: Some businesses just put the Pinterest PIN it icon on their product page, which can get lost in all the text, but One Kings Lane includes a sentence in red beside it telling you to “Click PIN it to Pin this product on Pinterest“. Your customers don’t always think to do it, so it’s a great reminder .
One Kings Lane groups their products into useful searches
  • Personalization Reminder: If a product can be personalized, One Kings Lane makes it very clear in two different places – a very visible icon on the product photo that says “Personalize It!” and another icon in the ordering information that says “Personalize this item” and then expands how the process works.
  • Sale Countdown Clock: They have a countdown digital clock on the page so you know exactly how many hours and minutes you have until the sale ends. Great way to get you to act quickly.
  • Delivery Time: They give the estimated arrival for every item at the bottom of the product copy.  For example, they will say “Estimated Arrival Nov 28 – Dec 3”. This is helpful if it is a gift and you need to know that if you purchase it, it will arrive in time for Christmas.
  • Vintage Descriptions: One Kings Lane is known for also carrying a lot of vintage items. In their copy, they will always identify the era and condition. For example, Era: 1960s  Condition: Very Good; blemishes and weathering from age and use. If you are selling vintage items, you must include the era and condition as it will help the item be found in Google searches (customers searching for a specific piece from a specific time), as well as vintage customers expect this type of information.

These are all easy marketing tips that you can apply to your online shop or business that will help boost your sales.

For more great marketing ideas for your small business, as always, please check out my Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! Ebooks, available in my shop.

Traffic is Not Sales

by G.B. Oliver

Do you ever see marketing promises that say, “We’ll get you tons of traffic”. Well, that’s very nice but traffic is not a guarantee of sales.

For example, say you sell jock straps. If one day 500,000 women visited your site, how many jock straps do you think you would sell as opposed to if 500 men visited your site? Exactly, if they have no need for your product, they’re not going to buy it.

Having lots of Twitter followers doesn't necessarily mean sales
Having lots of Twitter followers doesn’t necessarily mean sales

Another offer you’ll see is, “I will tweet you out to my 200,000 Twitter followers”. Well who are these followers? Are they just other companies who wanted a follow back, so the person reading your tweet is their Web marketing person (who is not reading tweets, just sending them). How many of their followers are actually still active on Twitter (people do get bored with social media and take a break). Don’t be lured in by high numbers. Again, if they are not who you are selling to, it is not going to make a difference.

What You Want is Traffic That is Your Target Market

So if you sell wedding products, for example, and someone says they will get you in front of 200,000 brides, that is reliable traffic…maybe. How long have these “brides” been on their blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.? A woman plans her wedding in 12 to 18 months so if she first joined their blog 2 years ago, she is married now and not interested in wedding products. She just hasn’t taken the time to unfollow. So, it could be only 60% of these 200,000 brides are still potential customers. Which is still good, but remember numbers can be overestimated.

Same thing if you are selling maternity clothes, for example. Women are only pregnant 9 months, so if they’ve had the baby, they may still be on that person’s email list but have no need to buy your products.

FINAL WORD: So go find where your potential customers are really hanging out online, at this moment in time, and that is where you will find the traffic that will buy from you. Now, how do you find this out? Simple, ask them. If you are selling to 13-year old girls, you must know a few – family, neighbors, friends’ kids. Ask them where they go online and that is where you’ll find your traffic that will lead to sales.

Pet CoverOnce you find this traffic, how do you get it to your site? Well I can’t give away everything on my blog, I have to sell too! But you can find these answers, as well as other ways to get attention, in my marketing Ebooks, available HERE.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Design I Love! Anthropologie

by G.B. Oliver

I’ve never understood why people just do copycat products. Granted, it makes business sense (although, not really ethical) to jump on someone’s proven success, but I have to think your success will be short lived if you can’t come up with product ideas on your own. It really isn’t that hard to be an innovator and develop new products. In fact, you can start with the products you currently have. Just step back, take a more objective look, and see how you could take things up a notch to differentiate yourself in a very crowded and competitive online marketplace.

Marketing-tips-small-businessA shop like Anthropologie is a good example. What makes them great is that they take products you’ve seen before, but they add a new twist to make them different from the traditional. For example, wooden letters are everywhere as wall decor, but Anthropologie turned these typical letters into Handpainted Still Life Monograms by making them out of canvas and adding painted murals on them. So now they have become true artwork for your walls.

Product-Marketing-ideasAnother example is their Colorblocked Baguette Board. They took what would be a regular cutting board, dipped the ends in milk paint to add some style and made it out of a much higher quality wood so you can use it as a bread server as well. These are simple twists on everyday products that also repurposes them.

If you want to be successful, you have to offer products that are unique, but still serve a purpose. People love products that are conversation starters. People also like unusual products because they make great gifts for those hard to buy for people. And as I say in my marketing ebooks, quirky always gets publicity! No one is going to write about a plain old cutting board in their magazine, but they will if it is now a stylish baguette server.

FINAL WORD: So don’t just copy someone’s else products. Take a look at a product that is popular and think, how can I make it more feature-rich, more useful, more interesting, more… attention getting.

GB OliverIf you are a small business selling online and you need more marketing advice (I save the best stuff for my ebooks) that will help increase your sales, please see my Ebook Shop for my PDFs, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! or ask about my affordable marketing consulting services by filling in the form below.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Target Your Products at the Lucrative Baby Boomer Market

by G.B. Oliver

There are currently 80 million baby boomers in the U.S. This is the population aged generally in their 50s and 60s who, according to MediaPost, hold 70% of the US disposable income (i.e. they’ve got money to spend on stuff!).

baby boomer marketing tips

Is Your Business Targeting Baby Boomers Properly?

The economy is not great right now, and yet Baby Boomers still have money to spend. The majority are still working, kids’ college is paid for, houses are paid for, if anything they are downsizing, which is putting more money back in their pockets. So if they are the people spending right now, why aren’t you targeting them?

Other Interesting Baby Boomer Facts

  • 71% of baby boomers go online everyday
  • 53% are on Facebook
  • People over age 50 spend $7 billion online annually

How Can You Target Them Based on What You Sell?

Let’s say you sell baby and kids products for exampleare you currently just targeting moms and dads, who are busier, have less money to spend, are probably too tired to think? Why not target grandparents, who do have the money to spend and love buying gifts for the grandkids. Plus, grandparents are not up on what kids want the way parents are, so you have an opportunity to convince them that kids really want your products!

What if you are selling jewelry or fashion. Baby boomers don’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing the latest youth-oriented trends. So why miss out on this market even if it is not your style. Create a more traditional line of products, or a more mature line, that you could section off in your shop just for this market, the same way you see a regular store and a plus size version of that store.

What about home products? Baby boomers love nostalgia, so research style trends from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and seen how you can incorporate it into a “Baby Boomer Line”. Also, were there cool products from this era that you could revamp for today’s market, making them both modern and vintage at the same time.

Baby boomers don’t just buy a lot for themselves and their grandchildren, they also buy for their grown children who have less disposable income due to being new to the workforce or owning homes and raising kids. So if you have items strictly aimed at the 20 to 30 year old market, those non-necessity but nice to have items, convince mom and dad to buy it for them! Would make a great gift guide, “What to buy for your grown children besides gift cards”. In fact, encourage customers to make a wish list just for them to give to Mom and Dad.

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© 2012-2014 G.B. OLIVER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Marketing I Love! Philosophy’s Packaging & Branding

by G.B. Oliver

If you are not familiar with the line of skin care, bath and fragrance products called Philosophy, you definitely should check them out because they do branding really well, especially when it comes to packaging. (Now if the word branding is throwing you off and you don’t do packaging for your products, keep reading because that is not totally what this post is about.)

Branding Ideas small business

On their product bottles, Philosophy hardly uses any graphics (except for special holiday products), mostly text (and a simple font at that), and they don’t even talk about their product on the label. Instead, their products have names like HopePurity, and Grace and the label is taken up with a well-written, inspirational paragraph that typically has nothing to do with the product.

Philosophy’s Simple but Clever Packaging

The names are simple, but clever, and they relate back to what the product is for. For example, Hope is a moisturizer. Their skin care products are all in white or cream bottles, evoking an image of clean. Their fragrances‘ packaging is light pink and ivory, creating a very feminine feeling, and their bath products are bright colors (because baths are fun) and they have fun names like Gingerbread Man, Candy Cane, and Sugar Plum Fairy. In fact their Mimosa Bubble Bath actually has a recipe for Mimosas on the label. Not what you would typically see on a bottle of shower gel, but that’s what makes it eye-catching.

So How Can You Apply This To Your Small Business?

Simple and clever always work. Simple makes it easier on the customer who is thinking of purchasing the product (no hard sell, not a lot of typical “marketing” words on the package) and clever always gets attention. And great packaging alone can sell products.

Now, maybe you don’t package your products, but you can apply these same techniques of simple and clever to your logo, shop design, website design, product names, even product design. It is a crowded, crowded marketplace so you have to do something to separate yourself from the pack and create a brand that is memorable to customers. If they don’t remember you, they can’t come back and buy from you.

★ I talk a lot about how to ensure that you offer marketable products in my Marketing Ideas That Work! Ebooks, available HERE.